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Headscratchers: Civil War
  • Would Reed eventually had his kids arrested cause doing the storyline they never mention how his kids would be affected which I find odd since he was one of the major supports of the Act?
    • Presumably he'd make his kids register.
    • If they were under 18 he probably could have registered them without their consent, since they're not legal adults and he is their guardian. Though that doesn't explain the Young Avengers...
  • The whole thing with Sharon Carter and Dr. Faustus. Seriously, you'd think SHIELD of all organizations would a) have a better screening process for their psychiatrists to make sure they're not working for the Red Skull and b) teach their agents better psychic shielding so that they don't get brainwashed even in such a mentally vulnerable situation.
    • To be fair about the latter, this is Dr. Faustus we're talking about here: if he has a chance to work you over at length, even Cap starts having problems resisting. As for the former, this troper has nothing good to say about SHIELD's current management. Nothing at all. For a long while, this troper carried the theory that Maria Hill was in fact a deep-cover mole for the Red Skull, until that was Jossed by Secret Invasion. Pity. It would have made far more sense that way.
    • There's also that Sharon Carter was brainwashed before by Dr. Faustus during his original story arc with the whole Grand Director fiasco. Even with the reasonable presumption that Nick Fury went to great lengths having the esper division do a thorough deprogramming and rehabilitation on her head after that incident, that doesn't change the fact that Dr. Faustus has the advantage of thoroughly knowing his subject.

  • Escaping from the Negative Zone is a difficult thing to do, especially deep inside the prison. But was the middle of Times Square the only place for Cloak to drop off everyone? They couldn't have done it in the middle of Central Park at least? Less humans there.
    • That drove me insane, especially since the resolution hinges on Cap not wanting to continue the devastation to the city. He lived through WWII. What did he think was going to happen? To this day the only answer I can think of is that the ending was changed and that ending was shoehorned in. I feel like the rest of the storyline makes a lot more sense if Iron Man kills Captain America at the end, or at least mortally wounds him.
      • What about his behaviour suggests he was thinking about what was going to happen? He was reacting. It's the superhero way. He had no plan to achieve success or even a solid idea of what success would entail. His battle was Unwinnable. What he wanted was to just go back to everything being like it was before, with superheroes acting as superheroes and the police politely looking the other way, but the most he could think of in order to do that was to give everyone a new secret identity, and launch raids to rescue unregistered prisoners.
      • Yes that was the crux of the problem with Anti Reg. Pro Reg at least had a plan for how to deal with the sudden changes. Cap's plan basically boiled down to ignore the act while beating up Pro Reg heroes that oppose them, until people magically changed their minds. He didn't even seem to want an offensive campain since Anti Reg was basically winning, Cap had Iron Man at his mercy and Thor clone was destroyed, when Cap suddenly freaked out about how all they were doing was pointless violence and the citizen's were afraid of them (which was Iron Man's whole point). The smart thing to do would be to just hole up with all the Anti Reg heroes, secretly pull political strings trying to get the act repealed, while leaving the world saving to the Pro Regs until the next big Marvel Universe disaster (in this case WW Hulk) when the Anti Reg heroes would desperately be needed, and then they'd have bargaining chips on the table to argue with.
    • OP: I think it has something to do with the fact that he had to telport to the actual gate itself, and the only ones were the ones on Ryker's (which had been closed) and the one in the Baxter building, which is near Times Square, so he teleported there. Now, why he failed to teleport inside the building is anyone's guess...
      • Because if any civillian building is going to have protections from teleporters it'd be the Baxter building?

  • You know I realized? The entirety of the Civil War is fail from the beginning? The spark that set this fire of stupid up? Nitro A SUPERVILLAIN! blows up a school. The public starts getting pissed at superheroes for collateral damage because a SUPERVILLAIN! blows up a school! Did no one notice that all but one of those heroes were killed in the resulting explosion? And even better, we can link this back to the Hero Insurance company Damage Control who turned Nitro into such a powerful being! Watchmen had public protests make sense when they came up. This doesn't make sense at all!
    • It's a lesson (admittedly a stupid lesson) in mob psychology and hysteria. Bad shit happens, people panic. The only problem was dragging out that hysteria for an entire Crisis Crossover.
      • This. When people go paranoid, sometimes they don't look straight at the usual suspect, they go linking the more plainly-placed pieces instead. Why did Nitro explode? Because he was fighting the New Warriors; that's what he does to have an edge. Why were the New Warriors there? Because they were filming their TV show. Were the villains causing trouble in the streets? No, they were minding their own business. Who was the only survivor of that disaster? Speedball. These score some serious points against the heroes, but the people there are probably Genre Blind enough to not know that Nitro was never that powerful, and that he had taken something like MGH to make such a huge mess. And not just the people, also: it still amazes me that Wolverine was the only one to see this!
    • It does make sense. The explosion happened because a bunch of heroes in a reality TV show picked a fight with him and they weren't competent or skilled enough to safely end the fight they started. It's like if a team of untrained cops pounced on a deadly psycho and then weren't able to stop him going on a killing spree through a school - it's their responsibility to take him down without anyone else getting hurt or making the situation worse. Just like cops are held accountable when they screw up and let things get out of hand, heroes should be too. That's the point.
      • Except they weren't unskilled or incompetent heroes, they were all veteran heroes with a long history together as a team. The entire deal was a shoehorned Idiot Ball moment. Instead of using an actual team of incompetent newbies which would have worked they used an existing team of competent heroes and chained them to Idiot Balls.
    • Although, my above point just made me realize - shouldn't the media also be held accountable? They had heroes in a reality tv show and no one thought this was a massively bad idea?
      • The Real Life Paparazzi survived indirectly killing Princess Diana. Considering the Marvel media have successful(!) hatemongers like JJJ on hand, I doubt anyone considered them responsible for longer than it takes to write "Superheroes: Threat or Menace?" on some tabloid/newspaper/TV show.
    • It's still idiotic. Nitro and his crew of convicted super criminals were hiding out in a suburban neighborhood and the New Warriors, for less than noble reasons, were attempting to enforce the law. True, they screwed up in the worst way possible, but they did expose how easily actual villains can hide from the government. Why go on a witch hunt for the heroes instead of villains?
    • Villains are already persecuted; also, when one of your targets is such a powerful enemy such as Nitro, living in a suburban area, it's not a good idea to send a minor team with a camera crew to fight him.
      • Nitro was never that powerful before this story. How could the NW be expected to know he had secretly undergone a power-up?
      • Exactly. If Civil War Tony Stark and the Mighty Avengers had gone in for that takedown on that day instead of the New Warriors, the exact same thing would still have happened. The heroes would have arrived, the villains would have rapidly been beaten down, Nitro would have taken off running, one of the flying heroes would have flown after him, and then Nitro would have detonated himself as soon as they caught up with him. It wasn't a failure of skill or professionalism, it was being blind-sided by something that no one could possibly have seen coming without the mutant power of precognition. Let us remember that in his most recent appearance before Civil War, Nitro's detonation had proven unable to kill Daredevil at ten feet. If that was the power level noted in his dossier...
      • That would be a valid point....if they hadn't said they were vastly outclassed by the villains,but that they should go in anyway for the shows a clear disregard for life,their own and others,and when resulting in children's death,it's perfectly understandable the public would be outraged.
      • 'Vastly outclassed by the villains' that they then flattened in less than two minutes flat? I don't remotely see where this 'vastly outclassed' ever happened.
      • It happened in the comic. I have it. I'm rereading it. One of the New Warriors comments before the fight that they're out of their league tackling this group of villains. He cites battles these guys have had with A-list heroes (like the Hulk). Now its true that they won the fight pretty handily but the knowledge they had going in was that they were going up against true threats after months (according to Speedball) of not finding anything decent to film (suggesting they might also be a bit rusty.) They decided to go ahead anyway because they needed the ratings. Also, going back to incompetence, Namorita smashed Nitro into the very school bus he ended up detonating. Anything I've ever read with the Avengers says they would have found a way to route Nitro away from the bus and the kids instead of smacking him into it. And if the Avengers HAVE done stupid stuff like that, then its a failure to write THEM properly (they're a group of professionals that often employs some of the world's smartest and most experienced people), not a failure of this book to properly frame the situation.
      • The difference, I'd imagine, is in that the Avengers would STAGE the fight elsewhere - they wouldn't provoke the villains right next to an elementary school in the heart of suburbia. When the Avengers deal with villains, the villains are already destroying stuff and the Avengers are just reacting, trying to minimize the damage already being caused. Also, when you think about it, Sue Richards of the FF could contain a blast in a forcefield, and Spider Man would just sense it with Spidey sense and do his best to put Nitro down beforehand. Even their powers are better equipped.
      • The last time Ironman fought Nitro, his tactic was to make Nitro explode a bunch of times really really rapidly so he wears himself out. The last time Hercules fought Nitro, his plan was throw a tank truck of fuel at Nitro so when he does explode, he blows his own atoms to the winds. Both of these fights where in the middle of the city. The New Warriors tried to knock Nitro out by slamming his head against a bus. That puts them one step above the more well trained and professional Avengers.
      • I think its a valid point that really none of the heroes, veterans or not, seem to be all that "well trained" especially at avoiding collateral damage. Perhaps its a failure of depiction or perhaps its the fact that the heroes are typically responding to an emergency where planning goes out the window and they have to make do with their wits as best they can.
  • Was there any point in this mindless battle at all? Not one single thing happened that hadn't occurred before with relatively little fanfare, so why did all the heroes lose their minds and try to kill each other for something as meaningless as a law that hadn't even been written yet? Was it all just an excuse for Marvel's writers to get up on their soapboxes about Bush or whatever?
    • The difference here is that the government was going to actively pursue those who didn't toe the line. Not Send Sentinels pursue, send SHIELD pursue.
    • That doesn't explain why the heroes were so quick to try to tear each other's throats out or why any of them would willingly support the ridiculously horrific atrocities and stupidly dangerous programs the Registration side committed.
  • The entire 'We must have the secret IDs of every superhero or else they're not accountable!' logic. Its completely nonsensical from the word go. Comic-book universes have already solved the problem of anonymous people in costumes breaking the law and needing to be arrested, even though nobody knows who they are under the mask. Because such people used to be called supervillains, and superheroes (and for that matter, at least some government/SHIELD anti-metahuman operatives) had been successfully beating them down and bringing them in for decades without needing the masked malefactor in question to first register for Un-Selective Service.
    • I noticed a distinct desire to adopt a "real world" attitude with superheroes in this series that failed miserably because it completely ignored that this is very much not reality. Superheroes/villains are nothing new here: they've been around for decades. Society has continued to function because the public's gotten used to them and know what to expect. These are people who've stared down extinction multiple times and have multiple terrorist groups that make Al Queda look like cuddly teddy bears, what's Stamford compared to that? The Marvel universe has gone through circumstances so different than the ones we've dealt with that expecting them to react as panicked as we would (probably even worse), is foolishness. The idea of ensuring that the world never strays too far from the real one isn't new in comics, but Civil War did it is such a poor manner that it was just insulting.
      • That's an excellent point. It also brings up why they suddenly want a registration now and not during all those decades where superheroes have been operating. Stamford is listed as the reason, but a supervillain was responsible for the damage, just like ... well, all the other times supervillains caused damage over the years. So why the hero backlash now? It just makes the government and populace look like morons for not caring about young inexperienced heroes beating up villains for years until they make a mistake that had unforseen consequences.
      • They want registration NOW, because as per the sliding chronology, true superheroism is only a few years old in this series. Sue Richards makes a note (at least in the novelization) about being "one of the first" superheroes out there due to the gamma radiation.
      • I do not know what true superheroism means but as far as sliding chronology goes Spider-Man was around for 15 years at that point.
      • FALSE: Spider-man said he's been a hero since he was 15 years old. Not that he's been Spider-man for 15 years. Considering he has a bachelor's degree and was a teacher before the war, he could be at least 22 years old at the youngest.
      • On the note of supervillains having already done much worse without this kind of public backlash, Kang leveled DC, killing nearly everyone in the city not that long before the Civil War storyline, then enslaved the planet because the heroes couldn't stop him. Sure, eventually they won, but somehow "supervillain kills 600 because heroes fail to catch him" is worse than "supervillain slaughters thousands and takes over the entire planet because heroes fail to stop him"? How the hell does that even begin to make sense?
      • In theory, the Stamford Disaster was supposed to be the result of a grievous mistake on the part of the New Warriors, whereas Kang wrecking DC and enslaving the planet was simply a supervillain doing what supervillains are wont to do. What were they supposed to do, demand that all supervillains register their identities? So in that respect it does make sense that the SHRA would receive a ton of support after Stamford but not after the Kang incident. It's just that the Stamford Disaster was very poorly handled. What they should have done is have an unknown rookie superhero touch off the Stamford Disaster through incompetence and inexperience, rather than hand an Idiot Ball to a previously competent and experienced team like the New Warriors just so they could be the sacrificial lambs of the Civil War. Alternatively, they could have put the unknown rookie on the NW and had him cause the disaster through his own blundering (maybe have him punch Nitro into an oil tanker or something, I don't know...). Same basic result (NW dead, public against superheroes) but it avoids the Idiot Ball problem.
    • While I agree with your overall point, your logic is flawed. The pro-Registration argument was not that superheroes would "go bad" if they didn't register and give up their secret identities. The argument was that untrained and unaccountable superheroes would make mistakes, and therefore superheroes should receive special training and be accountable to some higher authority. The analogy used in the comic was "first responders". Firemen, police officers, paramedics, etc. All of those receive special training to do their jobs and are accountable to the public if/when they make mistakes. The real reason this analogy doesn't work is because firemen, police officers, and paramedics CHOSE to enter a profession that requires special training and public accountability. On the other hand, most superheroes (and most supervillains for that matter) got their powers through a trick of fate. Random mutations, science experiments gone wrong, that sort of thing. If a cop or an EMT doesn't want to undergo special training or deal with public accountability, they can always quit. But a mutant can't just "stop" being a mutant. Captain America can't just "stop" being a chemically enhanced super soldier. Spider-Man can't just "stop" having spider powers. It's who they are. It's part of their very being. The SHRA is wrong for the same reason the old Mutant Registration Act was wrong. It persecutes people for what they are, not for what they do. Laws that criminalize people simply for who they are are bills of attainder; laws that do the same simply for what people are are Jim Crow laws. Both of those are unconstitutional as hell.
      • The pro-Registration argument was never about bringing super-criminals to justice or stopping superheroes from going evil. The argument was that superheroes need to be, essentially, licensed professionals. The ironic thing is, this argument makes perfect sense. We don't allow people to practice medicine without medical licenses, we don't send people to war without military training, and we don't allow people to practice law without passing the bar. The execution is the problem. If the SHRA had only required crime fighters to register, there would be no problem and no moral dilemma. If you have superpowers but you don't want to register, either retire from crime fighting or don't become a crime fighter in the first place. Shazam, moral conundrum averted. The problem with the SHRA is that it requires ALL super-powered individuals to register, regardless of the source of their powers or if they even use their powers to fight crime. So if you're just some dumb kid from Brooklyn who wakes up one morning and discover, to your amazement, that you just so happen to be a mutant, guess what? Now you've got to register with the government as a "living weapon of mass destruction" and there's nothing you can do about it. (I'm sorry, didn't the various X-Men titles spend a little over TWENTY YEARS exploring why the Mutant Registration Act was evil
      • A few things: As has been noted in earlier entries (and repeatedly in the source materials), Nitro was only this powerful after getting a major upgrade. Typically HE IS NOT THAT POWERFUL. Also, one of the reasons why trained and licensed professionals are preferable to amateurs is not due to the fallacy that they less prone to error but because when they do make a mistake they can be held accountable by a governing body/commission. If professionals made so few errors there wouldn't be an estimated 225,000 deaths related to medical malpractice per year in the U.S. alone. And did you really say that a professionally trained officer of the law would never do something egregious? Seriously? And for the last time, THEY WERE NOT AMATEURS! They were TRAINED BY THE AVENGERS! Lest we forget, before the Young Avengers there were the New Warriors. Granted, they did not start out as their junior team, but became that over time, but still... Also, I apologize if I came off as rude.
      • "People die due to medical malpractice. Therefore, this means that I trust any random schmuck to do surgery as well as someone with a medical license."
      • "just because you had powers you had to register" is in fact a very logic argument. Yes its racist, in some parts Anti-constitutional and it can be abused to hell and back, but for all intent and purpouse its a necessary implement for the safety of the civilians/vanilla human. Remember that the real life example of abuse and division where for normal humans marked for absurd and often, retarded basis for the sake of superiority complex or xenophobic tendencies. The problem is that having Superpowers make you a dangerous individual and worst of all, an untrained one for that. Like possesing a gun, just worse. Having the power to blow inanimate objects, degrade organic material or simple superstrenght make you a danger to you and those around you instantly and must be controlled (either by training or having a speciallized peace force to do it) and take acount of. Remember that this special people are human when all is said and done and propense to acts of violence, illogic or simply having a bad day that can have disastrous consequences. Even the harmless ones like mind reading, phase or having a superior breathing capacity could be considered cheating and unfair in sport and laboral settings. Not to mention all the incredible abuse, white or black, can occur when you had inaccountability. And since everysingle power is different and unique to the person... you really need a Registration Act. That said the way it was managed in the Marvel Universe and the demands stated in it (like All registered heroes are [[Dystopia potentially liable to be called up into active government service, at the discretion of the government, without the option of refusing]]) where just plain retarded, fascist and just pure evil. No wonder why Captain America was dead on against it.
      • I don't agree at all that "you have powers, therefore you must register" is a logical argument. Maybe for superhumans with uncontrollable or unstoppable powers, but not for the rest. You don't need Spider-Man to register because, really, he's no more a threat to society as anyone else. Yes he's stronger, faster, and more agile than the average human, but he's perfectly capable of not using those powers to kill people or commit other crimes. Also, the 616 universe is hardly helpless against superhumans. Tony Stark alone probably has the necessary tech to potentially bring down most if not all superhumans on Earth (outside of Omega-level mutants and such). If Quicksilver goes rogue it is possible for SHIELD to take him down. Lastly, think for a moment what would happen if we went down this road. Where is the cutoff point where "normal human strength" becomes "superstrength"? How do we tell the difference between people who can run really fast and people with actual super-speed? And what about the tech-based heroes? Should they be required to register as well? Does the intelligence needed to build a suit of invincible power-armor count as a superpower? If not, why not? Iron Man can create just as much destruction as the Hulk if he wants to. Hell, a smart enough person could probably crash the entire stock market if he tried. Even aside from the fact that it's racist and unconstitutional, if we went down this road we would run the risk of everyone with the slightest amount of exceptional ability being required to register.
    • This argument is flawed as it assumes that all powers are inherently dangerous no matter how minor the ability. Especially when it enters into the area that's outside the scope of the SHRA about 'fairness' when it comes to things like sports. The superior athlete makes things 'unfair' for the inferior athlete because he's superior, such as having greater lung capacity being far stronger. You can't go enforcing arbitrary standards of fairness like that because you'll quickly end up like things in one novel where everyone was shackled with restraints that made it so everyone was 'equal', such as weights to restrain strong people and piercing noises in the ear of smart people so that everyone was uniformly stupid. It lines up with someone earlier asking where do you draw the line since at least one character was being hunted for being in violation just because he was said to be too smart!
      • You're right; the argument is sound, but the execution was wrong. For example, people have said above that no one knew that Nitro had received such an immense power upgrade. The pro-reg argument hinges on how unlicensed heroes could make mistakes that cost lives, but there was no mistake made at Stamford - as far as everyone knew, Nitro wasn't capable of that sort of destruction. (Although I grant that shoving him into the side of a school bus was incredibly stupid.) If they wanted to make Civil War about heroes being responsible trained professionals, it should have been kick-started by an incident that happened because of a young hero making an actual mistake, not because a super-villain didn't want to go to jail.
      • Note: it was an empty school bus. You can see through the windows that nobody is inside. Which makes slamming him into it the functional equivalent of throwing him into a nearby wall, as there were no bystanders within Nitro's known blast radius. Also, if the SHRA is supposed to be analogous to professional licensing laws, well, you don't enforce licensing laws with deadly force, so the execution is straightjacket-wearing small-animal-tormenting insane.
      • "Note: it was an empty school bus." Maybe so, but it was also parked outside of a school. They punched a guy whose power is to spontaneously combust toward an occupied elementary school. I don't care if the civilians were outside of Nitro's "known blast radius". It was a damn stupid thing to do.
      • Um, not exactly. Nitro was fleeing towards an elementary school before Namorita flew down and smushed him into a bus. Which makes perfect sense - when you see a living bomb making his way towards school kids, you'd think, "Holy crap, I need to take him down now." and take him down as hard as you can. Ergo, smashing him into the empty bus head-first. What else should she have done - stood back and let the human bomb into a school because it was dangerous? The whole situation was dangerous, which is why she acted to ensure it didn't get worse.
        The two points in pro-reg's favor there though is that A,they admitted to being outclassed,and better trained fighter's wouldn't have let the villain get so close to the school in the first place,cus a parimiter would have been formed BEFORE they raided the hide out.
      • As far as I could tell, Namorita's only critical mistake was not dragging him away from the school while he was reeling from the impact. Though that can be excused as understandable reluctance to hold a living bomb for longer than necessary. It'd be a standard superhero bust if that had happened instead of an invitation for multiple years of illogical comic writer soapboxing.
      • Exactly. I mean, really, the whole bust went horribly wrong because the writers wanted it to go horribly wrong, no matter what the heroes did. The Stamford disaster was just a ham-fisted excuse to whip up anti-hero sentiment. (They could have killed any number of people, but no, it had to be a school. Why not a bus full of nuns while you're at it?)
      • The most Wall Bangery thing about this is that you only have to look back to Fantastic Four #336 for Reed Richards'note  complete, concise, and simple smackdown of the idea of a SHRA as basically "this idea is dumb, racist, makes no sense, can't be enforced, and will never work anyway." There may be good reasons for why people would want a SHRA, many of them in fact, but the truth is that none of them will ever work out with comic book logic. Ergo, Reed Richards is was Genre Savvy, which in the Marvel Universe is far, far, far more important than theories of ethics and law.
  • When it comes right down to it, the whole War was started because some thick-headed super-powered punks wanted to get higher TV ratings. They attacked the so-called villains, who were only sitting around their own house on their own property having breakfast (NOTHING ILLEGAL), when the New Warriors pop up out of nowhere and basically assault them with absolutely no provocation. Am I the only person bothered by this?
    • Unless the penalty for superhuman crime is ridiculously light then it's safe to say that anytime you see a perviously introduced supervillian he can be arrested for some previous crime.
    • No one is questioning that the New Warriors were idiots for pulling a half-planned bust just to show off to the cameras, but the villains were all fugitive felons regardless of the fact that they weren't harming anyone at the moment. The problem is that despite this irresponsible behavior, the Warriors didn't actually screw up. Sure they attack without provocation or a plan, but they managed to pull off a fairly professional bust until Nitro showed off the new power level pulled directly from his rectum. This was part of the reason the main point of the Civil War fell flat.
      • Even if he was at regular power (equivalent to about 350 pounds of TNT), he goes off near that bus, those kids are getting hot shrapnel in the face. Still, they had no plan which is pretty essential for just about any bust. And they couldn't make one up because they got made by Coldheart. Why? Because they were hiding behind a hedge in full costume and a camera crew. So, a quick and precise attack goes out the window that catches them off guard is no longer an option, giving Nitro time to run off and charge up. And this is what the public sees. If nothing else, there would be huge debates about the accountability of superheroes after that debacle.
      • I wouldn't exactly call what they did "professional". When real professionals get reports of a bomb the standard response is to immediately evacuate the area before attempting to move, disarm, or destroy it. The New Warriors should have contacted the police and had them quietly evacuate the surrounding neighborhood before moving in on Nitro and his cohorts. (It probably wouldn't have helped much given how large the explosion turned out to be, but at least it would've been more sensible and responsible.) The real annoying thing here is that, like most other problems with Civil War, this one could've been solved with just a few lines of dialogue.
    Nightthrasher: Okay everybody, we're going in. Stay frosty.
    *New Warriors crash into villain hideout*
    Speedball: Oh my God! Is that Nitro?! Nobody said he was going to be here!
    Nightthrasher: Quick! Someone take him out before he- *KABOOOOOOOOOM*

    • This argument only works under the merits of real world physics. Keep in mind that, everything not withstanding, superheroes/villains are always packing enough power to deal damage on the scale that Nitro was. Sure, Nitro's ability is specifically to explode and release energy within a wide area, but exactly what do you think happens when two superhumans start fighting in the first place? Keep in mind that bunker-buster bombs yield a few tons of force. The average superhero strikes with between five to twenty tons of force. In other words, just because Nitro was there and his power is exploding doesn't somehow make the New Warriors idiots for deciding to fight him. Once more, this is a case of Marvel attempting to force real world logic on a universe whose very nature defies that logic.
      • I'm not saying they were wrong for trying to fight him. I'm saying they were wrong for not securing the area first. Most of the time when two superhumans start fighting there's no time to get civilians out of the area. If the Brotherhood of Mutants drops into Times Square without warning and starts blasting people, the X-Men or whoever is around have no choice but to immediately fight back. But the situation in Stamford was totally different. The New Warriors just snuck up on Nitro and his buddies and jumped them, despite the fact that the villains clearly weren't going anywhere since they were hiding out from the cops. There was plenty of time for the New Warriors to contact the local authorities and have the neighborhood evacuated, which is what any real-life law enforcement agent would do when they know there's a bomb in the area. Like I said, it probably wouldn't have helped much considering the size of the explosion, but at least it would have shown the New Warriors to be competent superheroes. Now, just to be clear, I recognize that this is entirely the writers' fault. The New Warriors only acted like idiots because the writers wanted them to act like idiots. What annoys me is they could have accomplished the exact same goal without handing a previously competent team of superheroes a gigantic Idiot Ball. All they had to do was make Nitro's presence in Stamford a total surprise. Have the New Warriors bust into the villain's hideout, express shock and amazement that Nitro is there, and then have Nitro nuke the town before anyone can stop him. That way the New Warriors's deaths are due to false intelligence rather than a lack of intelligence.
      • The main problem was Namorita had the ability to restrain and remove Nitro without throwing him into a bus in the first place. She was stronger than him, faster than him, and could fly. Throwing him into a bus is the sort of thing a panicked civilian might do to a super-villain, but a professional is expected to know better. Same with armed police officers, even though they are armed they are supposed to try and restrain and arrest armed suspects first and only use their own firearms as a very last resort even if it means putting their own lives in danger to do so.
      • Trying to pick Nitro up and fly away with him wouldn't work — he'd simply explode while she was holding him, then float away. Remember, Nitro turns into a cloud of gas after he explodes and doesn't reform into solidity until he chooses to... in other words, Nitro can fly too. (Or at least float, long enough to safely return to the ground under his own power). Namorita has to knock him out before she can safely handle him, and ramming his head into the nearest large sturdy object is the most efficient way to do that. Unfortunately, Nitro was on a power-boost nobody knew he had, and so was able to both stay conscious after the hit and explode far more vigorously than anticipated. (To repeat, Namorita's chosen site for fighting Nitro was many times further away from the nearest innocent bystander than Nitro's known blast radius; she cannot be blamed for not acting on information she didn't have.)
  • Is it me, or did Civil War: Frontline switch sides about halfway through?
    • I think that was the point. Maybe they were aware that they were asking a lot of their readership, since the knee-jerk reaction of any Marvel Comic reader is to balk at the mention of "Registration Act." So they used Sally Floyd as a stand-in for the reader and had her gradually come around to the Pro-Reg side of thinking, in the hopes that readers would take a hint. Then they did the Nascar thing.
  • Is this troper crazy in thinking that creating a huge compilation of the names and identities of every super-powered individual on the planet is tempting fate a bit? Consider that almost all of the better known ones have villains who'd love to get revenge in the worse possible way. And then consider that there are a good number of super villains have spies out the wazoo, mind reading abilities, mind controlling abilities, shapeshifting, or always-improving technology. All it would take would be for a sufficiently determined villain to find some sort of cracks to work through and they'd know the real name and identity of any heroes they have a grudge against. Heck, there would probably be plenty of crackers who would want to get the hero IDs to sell to the highest bidders. Did this ever occur to anyone Pro-register? It seems like a pretty important detail to this troper.
    • Cap actually brought that up to Iron Man in Casualties of War. Tony didn't address it.
      • Didn't Tony say at one point (not sure where) that he (and presumably only he) was going to control the list? Not sure how that was going to work, but.....
      • I seem to recall that situation being compared to police officers: their identities are public and they also sometimes have dangerous people taking revenge on them. Still, there wasn't any solid solution offered, it was just a "they work it out within the system and so should you" argument.
      • It wasn't so much that they had a solution to it, as that it was the lesser of two evils. The risk of vindictive supervillains is counterbalanced by the problem of having anonymous secret police like Soviet Russia used to employ.
      • ^^The "police officers get death threats too" argument never sat well with me. Yes, cops and judges and district attorneys and so on do get death threats and sometimes they even have people come after them for revenge. But, here's the thing: Those people only have normal criminals going after them, not supervillains. A cop doesn't have to worry about his house being atomized by a Kill Sat because he got on Hydra's bad side. Superheroes do. That's a whole new level of danger and I'm not at all convinced the government would be able to protect the friends and families of superheroes from that. If they could then there wouldn't be any need for superheroes in the first place.
      • In addition, do you know how many cops in the real world have unlisted phone #'s? Pretty much all of them. Only when its people like the Red Skull hunting you, simply cancelling your phone book listing won't be enough...
      • Wait, wait. "Those people only have normal criminals going after them, not supervillains"? How does that compute? Regular cops, judges and so on still live in the same world as the supervillains and don't have convenient powers to protect themselves with — wouldn't they if anything be in more danger than just about any superhero if some vindictive supervillain decided to target them?
      • Yes, but why would a vindictive supervillain target them? If normal cops had the ability to defeat supervillains then comic book worlds wouldn't need superheroes in the first place, and registration would be a moot point.
    • Beyond that, Reed and Sue had previously had to deal with the government trying to put their kids into foster care, so they demonstrated that no matter how secure they think their records are, one of their enemies could still find out where the kids were supposedly being kept. (The 'demonstration' involving placing a notation in classified government records that the Richards children had supposedly been fostered at a certain address. Within an hour of the notation being planted, the address in question got nuked by a cruise missile strike.) And then Reed turns around and decides he trusts the government to keep the identities of all his friends and allies secret.
    • Apparently, Norman Osborn recently tried to access the registration list... Only to find it was empty. Freaky super-genius Stark kept the whole thing in the only system he trusted: His own brain. Not that this absolves him of blame for his role in the Civil War, but it does cover the whole "protecting identities" thing pretty well.
      • In BND story line Peter looked on the registration list to find out who Jackpot was.
      • Um... Doesn't the bad side have Mind Readers? Ore one good can go rogue. Basically any system in superhero comics can be broken, even your mind, so basically any way you have to protect your allies identities can be fooled.
    • I feel it should it should be noted that pretty much any and every hero they would have registered probably already had all that info in the SHIELD database, anyway especially if Secret War is any indication. Thanks, Nick Fury.
      • Going off of that, why did Spider-Man agree to just take off his mask in public like that to show his support? Yes, it was nice that his loved ones wanted him to get recognition for a change, but did everyone forget that there were vast numbers of super villains and ordinary criminals who would love to get revenge on Spidey and his wife and elderly aunt (who have been tangled up in life-threatening situations before)? Didn't any of them think that through? Look at how much trouble heroes with public identities have with protecting their children and non-hero family and friends. The above troper pointed out how hard Reed and Sue work to protect their kids, and in that case both parents and most of the family is super powered.
      • Spidey was talked into it by Tony Stark, who he had come to see as a father-figure at the time. It's still stupid on his part, but knowing his guilty conscience and Tony's vast resources, it's understandable.
      • you know the whole "father-figure" thing bugs me too. Tony isn't that old and Peter isn't that young. The older/younger brother they never had would have been much better.
      • May and MJ were also pretty secure at the time, and Spidey didn't know he'd end up on the run.
      • Oh sure, Mary Jane and Aunt May are fine. But what about Flash Thompson? Peter's students? Debra Whitman? Mary Jane's family? Liz Allan? Did Peter stop to think that he might be putting all of them in danger by taking his mask off? His school was even attacked by Doctor freaking Octopus! If I'm a supervillain eager for some revenge on Spider-Man, I might not be able to get at his wife or mother, but psychologically tormenting him by going after the rest of his loved ones would make for a hell of a consolation prize. Is Tony supposed to put everybody else Peter's known under 24-hour guard for the rest of their lives? How are they going to take realizing that they could become supervillain targets, having done nothing to provoke any of these lunatics? And Aunt May said Uncle Ben would be proud of Peter?!? *facepalm*
      • A supervillain eager for revenge on Spider-Man could just as effectively destroy him by picking random people off the street and killing them in Spider-Man's name. Peter thinks everything is his fault.
      • Doc Ock actually stated one time he was going to do this once a day until Spider-Man died. I don't think he ever got past day one though.
      • One more about the why of the unmasking : When Peter began to have second thoughts just prior, Tony gave him the distinct impression that he would still tell the secret himself. Now, maybe he was bluffing. But while Spider-Man might stand an outside chance fighting Iron Man, Peter Parker could never hope to outthink a crusading Tony Stark. I think it was the first time the break was foreshadowed. Oh, and about Tony and Peter et al's safety? IM's foes hate him, some fiercely, but very few are supremely personal. Most are ideological or political, some just go on money. But each and every one of Peter's foes hate him with a vengeance that only increases as you reach the top tier. Tony has foes capable of shattering the world on one level or another. But he has no one like Doc Ock or Osborn. Note : He underestimated Osborn, too.
  • A lot of what I know about this storyline is second-hand but I still have to ask... How the heck were the Anti-Reg forces planning to actually WIN the Civil War? What was the end goal? So they defeat Iron Man, right? Then they execute him? No, that wouldn't work. How about locking him up in a superhuman prison for life? No, too hypocritical. Oh, I know, why don't they overthrow the government that passed the law in the first place?!
    • Show the law was unenforcable so they'd have to change it? Cap was alive during part of the Prohibition era, so he'd probably remember that unenforcability helped get a law written into the Constitution itself changed. And probably showing themselves to be better heroes than the registered heroes to sway public opinion.
      • That's kinda the problem, though. Prohibition was shown to be unenforceable because of the chaos and disorder caused by organized crime. Therefore, in order to show the law is unenforceable, the anti-reg forces would have to cause as much chaos and disorder as possible. Which runs completely counter to the whole "be better heroes" principle.
    • If the non-registered heroes do a better job of fighting crime than the registered heroes, then eventually public opinion will change and the law will be repealed. Cap's first move after going on the run is to capture a bunch of supervillains. Though after that he spends most of his time fighting Iron Man and company so...yeah.
  • Am I the only one bugged by the X-Men's inaction in the whole matter? The SHRA essentially means every mutant in America has to register and be drafted into service, willingly or not. This is essentially the Days of Future Past coming to life. Thankfully, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 states this as the exact reason the X-Men in your party went anti-reg, if you go that route.
    • IIRC the act was passed only after the vast majority of the world's mutants had already been depowered, so it was something of a non-issue.
    • This is also one of the many reasons I didn't like the Emperor Vulcan thing. I wanted to see Marvel Girl go crazy on Iron Man's ass about the whole Do FP coming to pass thing.
    • Iron Man said to Wolverine that all mutants (at least, X-Men and their surroundings) had been already registered. Besides, they already were severely hurt by Decimation and the second X-Men tried to go and fight the registration, the surrounding their home Sentinels (who are pretty powerful, as we've seen in CW: X-Men) would really go Do FP on their asses. If they turned out not to be enough, Mighty Avengers, Thunderbolts and Cape-Killers would lend a hand. And at that point the X-Mansion was populated not only by two dozens of trained X-Men but by children and simply depowered mutants as well. Not to mention the fact that many X-Men have non-powered relatives. Seriously, X-Men had enough problems of their own to get involved into a conflict with the government.
    • From what I remember the X-men were said to be covered under the ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT at the time, and pretty much held at the school under 'protective custody' complete with human-piloted sentinels around the area. Yes the X-men were considered unaffected by the SHRA because they were an endangered species, i.e. animals. Talk about unfortunate implications...
    • This was even mentioned in the storyline, during Tony's meeting with Emma. She basically goes: "you never helped us before, why should we help you now?", citing the destruction of Genosha (I bet Grant Morrison would've rewritten the event if he figured it would be called back like this). It was that whole "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" thing. Also, it wasn't like the SHRA would apply only to mutants, so if they stepped in, probably they would've only made things worse on their side.
  • The New Warriors attacked Nitro, who exploded and killed a town. Why does nobody actually care that Nitro was the one that did it in favor of blaming all superheroes everywhere? In the entire series, all tie-ins included, only Wolverine and Namor care about capturing Nitro, and Namor only because Nitro killed one of his family (a member of the New Warriors). There was a token attempt on SHIELD's part to bring him in during Wolverine's arc, but predictably, they all got blown up and Wolverine had to clean up the mess.
    • Because it was the New Warriors' negligence that created the situation that allowed Nitro to murder hundreds of innocents. True, they were only acting negligent because the writers wanted them to, but still...
  • The whole blowing up of Stamford was what caused people to turn on heroes, but they shouldn't have. Look at it like this: you're an average person who's been trained in adult CPR who sees a man get shot. The only way to keep him alive is doing CPR, so you clear the airway, listen for breath, do chest compressions. But unfortunately, you break a rib. The bleeding is accelerated...and by the time the medics arrive after you've had somebody nearby call 911... he's dead. He wouldn't have died if you hadn't screwed up doing CPR, but that had been an honest mistake. The incident with the New Warriors was like that. They had genuine experience and had fought villains many times before, and furthermore, these villains were barely B-List. They, by all rights, should not have caused all the trouble they did, but Nitro ended up being far more powerful than people thought. But even so, it ISN'T truly their fault. They were the people doing CPR, trying to help with what knowledge and experience they had. Yes, they screwed up, but they never would have screwed up if the shooter (Nitro, in this case) hadn't done what HE did. The people of the USA blamed the victim.
    • Though I agree with the overall point, the analogy isn't quite accurate. The New Warriors weren't stopping Nitro and Co. attacking. They actively picked a fight while in a suburban area without any real precautions just to look good for the cameras. True, the villains were mostly second string losers (with one nasty surprise), but the Warriors did handle the situation poorly. That said, people really were ignoring the supervillain and the actual scale of the disaster (again, this is a place where demons can and have invaded with relatively little impact) simply because the writers wanted a big fight and chose a "shocking" location for the incident.
    • Plus, they're only "second-stringers" in terms that we the readers don't see much of them and care very little about them. In the Marvel Universe, they're still very, very armed and dangerous. One has indestructible blades, one has super-speed, one is an Iron Man expy, and the last is a human grenade. Give any one of those attributes to your average dumbass criminal and you better tread lightly when trying to take them down.
  • Why the hell did Captain America make all those bullshit speeches about "This is a War, people get killed." when he had no intention of killing anyone. He even beat the crap out of Punisher for killing a couple of known murderers. If anyone was truly serious about ending that war which was imprisoning people in the Negative Zone, they'd have broken into the White House with a teleporter (the same way Nick Fury does in Secret Warriors) and killed the President. It's not as if the Pro-Regs weren't okay with killing.
    • Just... wow. Breaking into the White House with a teleporter and killing the President. You know, I can think of no WORSE way to completely and utterly destroy the entire anti-Reg side than doing precisely that. Assassinating the President would NOT change the law. The only thing it would do is prove, once and for all, that superheroes are dangerous menaces and have to be controlled by any means necessary. What this would do is bring down more heat and completely destroy their ability to garner sympathy with the public. The public being the people that they need to garner sympathy with if they're going to have any hope of overturning the SHRA. Oh, and while we're at it, the Pro-Regs WEREN'T okay with killing, Thunderbolts excepted. There was only one fatality, and that was accidental, and the creature that did it was shut down immediately after.
      • SHIELD was also pretty okay with killing. Also, there were more casualties than just Goliath.
      • They don't need to gather sympathy, they're in a "War", in a war you kill the opposition and take control from them. To quote Nicky Cavella from MAX Punisher "He's a TRAINED SOLDIER. He thinks like a soldier. He treats war like it's supposed to be: THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF THE ENEMY." The President didn't care that the Goliath got killed. With that sort of leadership on the enemy side, where they initiate the killing. You have to take out the entire leadership tree of the enemy side so that you've got confusion and you can defeat the enemy. They ended the talking part of diplomacy when the Registration Act came into force.
      • They are absolutely NOT in a total war situation. They are rebelling against an unjust law. They MUST gain sympathy from the populace if they ever hope to succeed.
      • They absolutely WERE in a Total War situation. Before the Act was even entered into law Hill asked Captain America if he'd support SHIELD during enforcement, he said no, they started trying to kill him. When your side is being killed or sent to "Super Gitmo" for opposing the other side, that's when you go into Total War. In any war you should not leave your enemy with the ability to survive, or you shouldn't go to war.
      • You're not listening. Their goal was to overturn an unjust law, not overthrow the government. That fact alone refutes the premise that they were in a Total War situation. In order to get the law overturned, they must gain the favor of the public. KILLING THE PRESIDENT would turn the public against them and confirm everything the pro-reg side said about them in the eyes of the American people.
      • These guys, temporarily insane or no, are heroes. They don't want to stage a coup, they just want to oppose an unjust law and get back to normal. If they attacked the government directly, they can forget about ever going back to swinging around town and saving people. They end up enemies of the country and all of its allies, becoming little more than glorified terrorists for the remainder of their lives. The Anti-Reg side was not willing to cross that line. The fact that they could not really win without doing such a thing was why they were doomed to fail from the beginning.
  • What really bugs me is that nobody in-universe mentioned that MU government isn't exactly the one you could trust. Captain America himself faced at least two government conspiracies - one when the president himself turned out to be a supervillain and the other when some high-ranking official was revealed to be Red freaking Skull. And then there are such nice shadow agencies as Weapon X. No wonder Norman Osborn came to power so easily - it was a matter of time before Stark would be upstaged by someone much less idealistic.

  • The underlying "Never be a hero" message of SHRA is really disturbing. For example, you go and see an attempted rape in progress, sure you may call the cops, but while they get there it will be too late. If you stop it yourself while wearing the mask, Registration Act says you are a criminal now. Seriously, look at Jack Flag example. Sure, superheroes deliberately go around the city and look for such kind of situations but would it be better if they didn't? An idea of superheroes undergoing some training in CPR and such is good but the rest of Act... not.
    • Stopping a crime that you just happen to come across (or find out is happening) doesn't qualify as vigilante activity. That's why Good Samaritan laws exist: so that people who encounter a crime in progress can attempt to stop it without fear of the law coming down hard on them for screwing it up somehow. The difference is that superheroes are going to actively seek out lawbreakers, which makes them, unofficially or otherwise, part of the law enforcement system. Thus, according to the registration supporters, they're not just Good Samaritans anymore, and should be accountable for their actions.
    • Of course by that logic, a neighborhood watch could technically fall under the auspices of the SHRA.
      • A neighborhood watch usually doesn't try to punch out a walking nuke in a suburb for the cameras.
      • No, but a law as vague as the one elucidated above would still cover them. The spirit of the law is specific but the letter is overbroad.
    • One issue of Tangled Web pointed out that the superheroes, while good intentioned, tend to make it hard to actually pin anything on the crooks they catch. When Spidey leaves a mugger webbed up, there's probably not a whole lot of evidence the mugger actually did anything unless the victim is willing to sit around with the guy and wait for the cops to record her statement and Spidey can't exactly testify to his guilt. Thus, the guy goes free. With the SHRA, he would be recognized as an officer of the law and the charges can stick with his statement.
      • No they wouldn't. Even in the real world, with undercover cops, it's unconstitutional to testify against someone without allowing them to directly confront the accuser. Whether he was official or unofficial, Spider-man's testimony would never be admissible as evidence.
      • Actually it would, because Spider-Man is a reserve Avenger. This argument was brought up in She-Hulk when she offered to bring a slander lawsuit against J. Jonah Jameson on Spidey's behalf. Jameson tried to argue that Spider-Man couldn't testify in court because he was wearing a mask. She-Hulk's law partner brought out a standard-issue Avengers retinal scanner and scanned Spider-Man through his mask. The scanner confirmed Spidey's identity, so he was allowed to testify.
      • Which, in the real world would still be unconstitutional; I understand that we're not dealing with the real world, but if we're going to deal in Fridge Logic, it's necessary that I continue. An undercover cop tried to give written testimony against a defendant by providing his badge number, which only be meaningful to the police, to confirm his identity. The court allowed the testimony at the time, but it was later thrown out in appeal for being unconstitutional. The retinal-scanner deal would work the same way. EDIT: I just looked it up, and the reason it was admissible against Jonah is because the Sixth Amendment only applies to civil court, not the criminal court. So, I'm still right, but for the wrong reason.
      • In the case you refer to with the undercover cop, did the cop actually appear in court to deliver testimony, or was his testimony submitted in written form and only identified by badge number? If the latter, then I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of the Sixth Amendment. The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment gives the defendant the right to confront his accuser face-to-face for the purpose of cross-examination. Generally speaking, so long as the defendant is given the opportunity to cross examine a witness and attempt to impeach his credibility, the Confrontation Clause is satisfied. Superheroes are a bit of a grey area because a lot of them wear masks, but since the 616 universe has the technology to verify a person's identity beyond a shadow of a doubt without revealing their face or their real name, I would argue that their testimony would be allowed. Also, you're forgetting that in most cases when a superhero defeats a criminal the hero's testimony is not at all necessary for a conviction because there are other witnesses who can verify events. If Spider-Man stops a bank robbery, he doesn't need to testify in court against the bank robbers. The bank patrons or bank employees who witnessed the robbery can do that. Even if a superhero defeats a criminal with no witnesses around, say if Spider-Man finds a drug lab in an abandoned warehouse, beats everyone up, and leaves them webbed to the floor, all he has to do is call the police and leave an "anonymous tip" that some drug dealers are tied up in an old warehouse by the docks. When the police show up they find the drug dealers in the room with the drugs and the drug dealer's fingerprints on everything. Pretty easy to convict. Now I will grant you that if Spider-Man just dumped a webbed-up guy on the front steps of the police station and said "that guy's a criminal, book him" and left, the criminal would almost certainly get off. But this almost never happens in the comics (at least not in modern comics) so it's not really an issue.

        Regarding your EDIT: I think you meant to say the Sixth Amendment only applies to criminal court. Which is true, but even so, the fact that criminals can and have been prosecuted in the 616 universe even after being captured by superheroes with secret identities can only mean that US law is different in the 616 universe. And yes, saying "well clearly the laws are different there" is a perfectly valid explanation. Otherwise the very concept of superhero crime fighters ceases to make sense. The fact that civilians in the Marvel universe were willing to tolerate the existence of superheroes at all can only mean that they re-wrote the laws to allow for the existence of superheroes. If the laws in the 616 universe were exactly the same as ours then there would have been a backlash against superheroes way before the Stamford Disaster. Since there was no backlash until Stamford, clearly the laws there are different. Furthermore, we have actual in-canon proof that the laws are different in the 616 universe. The She-Hulk story referenced above was part of a larger story arc where Jennifer Walters starts a new career in the burgeoning field of, quote, "Superhuman Law". QED.
      • We have retinal scanners and fingerprint-ID systems in real life, but an undercover cop still cannot testify in court without identifying him/herself. If it were that easy, then all the cop would have had to do is wear a mask to court while the prosecution vouched that he was who he said he was—but it doesn't work that way. Strictly speaking, the prosecution could have put anyone they wanted on the stand and made the court believe it was the real witness. Also, like I said, I acknowledge that the 616 is a different world with different laws, but if we're going to use Fridge Logic here (which is basically ascribing real-world logic to fictional circumstances), then I have to bring this into account. I admit and agree that having superheroes around would necessitate that the law change, but in the case being presented (that registration would give them more credibililty than not), the point is moot.
      • "We have retinal scanners and fingerprint-ID systems in real life" Neither of which are foolproof or even all that reliable. In the 616 universe they have 100% foolproof methods of determining someone's identity. If we had that in the real world we probably would allow undercover cops to testify while wearing a mask.
      • Right. Because a world with alternate universe doppelgangers, clones, and shapeshifters that can copy "down to the genetic level" means that their tech is "more reliable". But besides that, you're missing the point. The point is not that the methods of identification are unreliable, because they are. It's because you still have to take the state's word for it that things haven't been tampered with or set up. The entire point to the sixth amendment is so that you won't have to take the goverment's word on anything. Saying, "oh yeah our ID systems are 100% accurate and that's Spidey alright" doesn't mean anything because for all we know, they scanned Hawkeye under that mask and swapped him for Spidey at the trial.
      • For the umpteenth time, different universe. Different technology. Different laws. Hell, different country (the 616 USA is clearly different in many ways from our USA). You cannot apply the exact same standards of our reality to a vastly different reality. If you're saying that a masked man would never be able to give sworn testimony in the real world, I agree. But the 616 universe isn't the real world. That's really all there is to it. It's not our universe. Things obviously work different there.
      • No, that isn't the point of the debate. You said that the Marvel Universe's technology is "more reliable" than the real world's—which it CONSTANTLY proven false because of the multiple ways that have been displayed to get around it. You can't play the "it's fiction so it doesn't have to be consistent" card now. In the case of this discussion, either the argument works because of the reasons stated or it doesn't. Otherwise, there's no Fridge Logic here.
      • Jumping in here, but I'm responding to "The Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment gives the defendant the right to confront his accuser face-to-face for the purpose of cross-examination. Generally speaking, so long as the defendant is given the opportunity to cross examine a witness and attempt to impeach his credibility, the Confrontation Clause is satisfied." I don't think so. In Coy v. Iowa, the Supreme Court ruled that 6th amendment right to confront an accuser was violated when a child witness was shielded by a screen. In contrast, in Maryland v. Craig, they further clarifed that one of the important elements, beyond cross-examination, was that the jury be able to view the witness while they make the statement, to see if they are giving visual cues that will affect their credibility. The problem isn't just verifying the identity of the witness. A mask hides a lot of the witness's demeanor. Of course, maybe the laws are completely different in 616, and Spider-Man spends a lot of time off panel collaborating with prosecutors on court dates.
  • So is it me, or could the entire plot have been avoided by Captain America going to the assembled Avengers the second Maria Hill tried to arrest and/or kill him and saying, "Listen, guys, Maria Hill just tried to kill me, we need to rethink this shit?"
    • He was a fugitive by then, so he'd have a hard getting back into Stark Tower without getting spotted. Likewise some of the more law focused members of the Avengers would likely probably try to arrest him.
      • Believe it or not, he wasn't a fugitive at that point. When Hill tried to have him brought down the SHRA hadn't been made law yet. She literally tried to have him subdued before the SHRA could become law because she knew that if he stood up against the SHRA, people would think twice about it, because he's Captain America. They even point out the fact in the next issue when he goes underground, which they actually benefited from in part because without him actively resisting the idea in the open, it hurt his case. Miriam Sharpe (herself largely reviled by fans these days just for existing) even says she was upset that Cap was taking a stand against the SHRA when she is interviewed just before the act became an official law. Think about that. She actually used the words taking a stand. That implies that even she knew the proposed law was bullshit, but didn't care because it meant she got what she wanted if it passed, which she claimed was "justice for her son", and didn't give a damn about how many families would be destroyed by this act, or worse. Maria Hill also says that Cap being free was a bad thing because, and again I quote: "Anyone who disagrees with us suddenly has a figurehead."
  • So what the hell was Cap's plan exactly? Attacking transports and the N-Zone prison really don't anything to solve your problem and, really, all it does is confirm the public's fear that you're a dangerous elite that reacts violently when the law tries to reign them in. And then bringing in Atlantis to attack representatives of the U.S. government on U.S. soil is just going to get you hanged for treason when they catch you.
    • I guess his plan was to free the unjustly arrested heroes and defeat pro-registration forces, thus showing the government that they have no power to effectively enforce the law, leading to its cancellation or at least negotiations to make it more acceptable (without indefinite incarceration and hero-hunting murder squads). If only he wasn't hit by Idiot Ball at the last second...
    • But even there, it's wholly dependent on the government just pussing out and the public making a spontaneous 180 on the whole thing. More than likely, taking out Iron Man is just going to give the government all the excuse in the world to wheel out the Sentinels again.
      • Which, in the hands of a better team of writers, would probably be the point. Cap's team couldn't win without taking drastic steps that would undermine their entire purpose as well as violate the codes of just about every hero allied with them. The Anti-Reg side could have won their freedom if this was a debate, but the Pro-Reg basically pushed them into an actual battle. The whole concept of the war was flawed from the start.
      • Cap's plan initially was to just hide out and ignore the law, while still committing hero acts where they could, presumably until either public opinion recovered or another disaster occured and all heroes were needed, where they'd have some barganing chips. This was poorly thought out but he basically just reacted in instinct to escape Shield and then found himself a fugitive so he had to kind of wing a plan. However the Pro Reg's did their jobs better than he'd hoped, and after Goliath was killed, and most of his guys were hauled off to the negative zone, he kind of lost it, planning a massive jailbreak that would lead to battle in the heart of New York (which would put civillians in serious danger) and having Atlantis flank the pro reg guys (calling in foreign troops to attack American targets, this is high treason). Both these things were extremely unlike him which he realized, so he surrendered, realizing what he wanted (everyone to just magically forget about it and go back to status quo) just wasn't going to happen. Again poorly thought out, and was basically impossible, but Cap just sort of found himself in that situation and tried his best to make it work.
  • The scene in which that reporter interrogates Cap about modern America. What the fuck? None of those things she talks about - Myspace, NASCAR, Youtube - are America. They have nothing to do with the core values of freedom and equality that America is about and that Cap represents and guards. They are nothing. They might be gone in the next hundered years. So why on earth is this stupid, stupid woman taken seriously and why does her argument have any relavance to what Captain America is? And why can't I find that photoshopped version of that image that says as much?
    • This one?
    • I could list any number of real life "journalists" who would spout equally irrelevant crap. Like them, her purpose is not to report the news or find the truth. Her purpose is to put forward a point of view. In this case, by discrediting Captain America by showing that he's "out of touch with America." The audience for this are people who already have a viewpoint and want it reinforced by those they feel are proper authority figures. She is taken seriously by them because she provides an excuse to reinforce their already held beliefs.
    • I think the point they were trying to make (and failed to do so) is that Cap's personal justifications aren't reality. He often reasons his actions (especially when it's against the gov't) as being "the will of people." The problem is that "the people" isn't just some abstract that Cap can pin all his ideals on for justification. They're flesh-and-blood people who all have insecurities, foibles, and fears. And they're piss-freezingly terrified of an unregulated superpowered elite running around their country. They don't give a crap on whether or not Moon Knight wants to remain anonymous. They want his ass trained and cleared for punching Stilt-Man in the face so their house doesn't get wrecked. They're not the Norman Rockwell, mom-and-apple-pie abstracts Cap can imagine whatever they want them to be. They're much more human and petty than that. They go on MySpace, they watch American Idol, and they don't like the idea that because you have powers and/or a mask, that means you can just go punch out a nuclear-powered Doombot and then run away with your anonymity after the thing smashes into a library. This what I would guess they were trying to say but got so stuck on the pop culture references that all anyone remembers is "Cap failed because he doesn't watch NASCAR."
  • Regardless of whether you're Pro or Anti-Reg, Iron Man and his forces do some very questionable things that, quite frankly, bug the hell out of me. Mainly though, the whole thing about nanite-controlled Supervillains. Firstly, they're still human beings, regardless of what they did in the past. They have rights, and mind-raping them to serve your cause is just...wrong. Secondly, they're supervillains they're the worst possible people to have on your payroll. Most of them (e.g. Green Goblin and Bullseye) are complete monsters, and dangerous to have out in public, nanite-controlled or otherwise. Thirdly, why is Tony sicking these animals on his former friends? Holy hell dude, imprisoning people in the freaking Negative Zone is bad enough, but using superpowered nuts as your own personal bloodhounds to hunt those prisoners, really doesn't help.
    • Nevermind all of that; why the hell did Tony choose Norman Osborn of all people to be that mind controlled assassin? Osborn, one of the most vengeful, petty, vindictive psychopaths on the planet; who orchestrated The Clone Saga, one of the most convoluted and mind boggling evil schemes in comic book history purely to screw with one man; an Evil Genius superhuman homicidal maniac with decades of experience navigating the corridors of power, and a lifelong member of the "F*ck You Tony Stark" fan this really the sort of man you want to piss off like that? I mean, letting him anywhere near a position of power is stupid in the first place, but this is clearly the sort of treatment that will make Norman ten times more determined to find the nastiest possible way to screw you over. About the only semi-justification I can think of is that Tony hates Norman as much as Norman hates him, and this was sort of warped atonement for feeling forced to hire him in the first place, or a warning to Norman that despite his new position, Tony can still pull the trigger whenever he wants. Which is yet another thing that will just piss Norman off. Tony has a really poor grasp of psychology.
    • I can only assume this was intended as an attempt to present a "balanced" debate over superhero registration. The plan was for both sides to have their good points and bad points but for the pro-reg side to ultimately come out on top. Unfortunately they went way overboard giving the pro-reg side bad points because, as discussed further up the page, many if not most of the writers involved with Civil War apparently didn't know that the pro-reg side was supposed to be the good side (in the "lesser of two evils" sense). Combine that with the fact that Marvel Comics continuity has pretty heavily favored the "freedom" side of the freedom vs. security dichotomy for many decades and it's likely the writers assumed they were going for the same kind of message again. Why spend 20+ years explaining why a Mutant Registration Act was evil and wrong and then turn around and say a Superhero Registration Act is hunky-dory? So it's not surprising that the writers had the pro-reg forces doing some downright villainous things. The only surprising thing is that none of the people in charge of Civil War who were supposedly dictating how the story would eventually turn out caught on to this before the issues saw print.
    • The problem is that the main writer who knew the pro-reg side was meant to be the ones on top gave them the worst Kick the Dog moment in all of the event: Clor - er, Ragnarok - and the death of Goliath. You can write off Tony engineering a war with Atlantis in Frontline and being a mustache-twirling Hitler clone in Amazing Spider-Man off to miscommunication but his responsibility in the death of a superhero is the fault of the guy who planned the pro reg side to be in the right in the first place.
      • Granted that was a pretty horrific moment, but I would argue if Ragnarok killing Goliath had been the only Dog-Kicking committed by the pro-reg movement it wouldn't have felt so bad. It could have been written off as an isolated incident, a tragic mistake, etc. It would have been a big point against the pro-reg movement but it would have been balanced against other questionable acts by the anti-reg movement. But of course, because of the massive Failure of Communication in the Marvel offices, Ragnarok murdering Goliath turned out to be just the diseased, rancid cherry on top of the giant crap sundae that is Civil War.
      • It definitely didn't sit well that the chief of the side saying 'Superheroes must be held accountable!' then turned around and got someone killed through his own negligence, and just shrugged and moved on without applying any accountability to himself or the other manufacturers of Ragnarok.
  • Take a look at the end of the penultimate issue. Right before the final battle starts. The pro-reg people have the Sentry on their side. But when the battle commences, he's not seen fighting. Why doesn't he just win single-handedly?
    • I'm just gonna assume that Sentry probably realized that he would've caused plenty of destruction and decided to lay low until the battle concluded.
      • I posted this question originally, and today I read New Avengers #24, where it's revealed that the Sentry didn't like the idea of fighting his friends, especially since his power was so great that he might kill his pals unintentionally.
  • Okay, WHEN did the Spider-Man issues take place? I mean, it's pretty clear for the first four or so months, but then they seem to go in different directions. For instance, in the main Civil War title, Spider-Man confronts Iron Man, escapes into the sewers, nearly gets killed and is brought to the resistance by the Punisher. In Amazing, he congronts Iron Man, disables the Iron Spider override, goes on the run, announces he was wrong on national TV and is approached by Captain America to join the resistance. So which one is canon?
    • According to the Index, the order Civil War and ASM stories take place is more or less: ASM 531, Civil War 1, ASM 532, Civil War 2, Civil War 3 and ASM 533, Civil War 4, ASM 534, ASM 535, Civil War 5 and ASM 536, ASM 537, Civil War 6-7 and ASM 538, ASM 539.

  • Why did signed on to the registration act mean having your secret identity revealed to the public? Was there no way that the could have signed up and gotten code names in order to protect there friends and loved ones?
    • It was never needed to disclose the identity to the public. Disclosing it to SHIELD was enough. She-Hulk was clear on that to Hellcat.

  • So, a dramatic event (in this case, the destruction of a city) made the US government reduce freedom to achieve more security. Removing the fictional super-human items, that's actually a common thing in world history, and several countries faced such situations. And Captain America reacts to it by organizing a guerrilla group. A guerrilla group with super powers, but a guerrilla group nevertheless. But what about the actual purpose of guerrillas? Montoneros, ERP, FARC, ETA and similar bands do not simply try to "resist", they try to take over the government, to establish a "good" one (at least, that's what they always say). So, the natural direction of Civil War should have been that Captain America attempted a coup, to become the military dictator ruling the US. Captain America is a military, of course he should know where it would all lead to, no army would ever achieve victory simply by being in the defensive against an overwhelming more powerful and resourceful enemy (not if there is no Cavalry to come to their rescue, or a "resist until X thing happens" victory condition, or some other detail that changes the equation). The unregistered heroes would be slowly captured one by one, the secret location may slowly be discovered one by one, until the resistance becomes non-existent.
    • Guerrilla warfare is a just a type of combat; it can be used for whatever purpose. Perhaps it's true that most guerrillas attempt to overthrow governments, but if so then that simply means that Cap was an exception to the general trend. All he wanted to do was resist and unjust law until it was overturned. It would be ridiculously out of character for Cap to install himself as a dictator of any kind.
  • Granted I haven't read this for myself and most of my experience with Marvel comes from the Earth's Mightiest Heroes TV shows and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so maybe those were kind of inaccurate to the comics characterization or this was explained in story ... but isn't Tony being pro-registration kind of bass-ackwards? Someone who spends so much time whining about people touching his stuff and showing open contempt for SHIELD and the government in general doesn't seem like the person who would become an enforcer for said government forcing everyone to give up their stuff ... unless he's just a massive hypocritical douche.
    • Civil War was written long before that characterization of Tony came out.
    • Remember that a same character may not be completely similar in one medium and another. In comics, Iron man has been being developed monthly for decades, in the cinematic universe, only in 4 movies. The Iron Man from the movies is a condensed version of the best and most interesting traits of the comic books Iron Man, but many things were left out. For instance, in comics Iron Man has been a secretary of defense, and a longtime leader of the Avengers. Which is not quite the same as in the cinematic universe, in comics the Avengers are the highest Big Good and law-abiding group of superheroes, in a world filled of superhumans and super groups at all corners; and Iron Man was a leader, not just a guy among six peers. At this point, he has a Seen It All attitude towards superhuman stuff. In fact, comic books have a long geopolitical context of superhumans and the rest of the world, and both Iron Man and Captain America are (in-universe) among the most prominent super-humans. A context which does not exist in the cinematic universe, as the super-powered guys are limited and counted with a hand.
      • Ok thanks. I knew I was missing something there. I guess that's what I get for trying to go into something as complex as Civil War without much comics background.
  • Was it ever established what exactly qualified as a superpower? For instance, would Tony Stark have to register because he is a "super genius"? What about magic practitioners, or other heroes who learned their craft?
  • A piece of my soul dies every time someone in a comic book says 'We have gun control laws, so why not laws to control people with superpowers? It's the same thing!' Hey, Senator Strawman, why don't you call a constitutional law school and ask if there's actually is any legal precedent on the books for laws that regulate human beings in an identical manner that they would regulate personal property? You know what they'll tell you? That the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution entirely forbids doing any such thing. Because treating human beings under the law as if they were chattel is called slavery, and we already had a Civil War for the specific purpose of making that shit 200% superdoubleplusungood illegal.
    • Before somebody goes 'but its not the same thing!', the point is that establishing the legal precedent that laws for controlling the possession and use of personal property can be used as a template for laws regulating the behavior of people is not identical to slavery, but that it uses the same basic legal justification as the original slavery laws did to slightly different purpose — but since they both derive from the same basic assumption ('people may, in at least some contexts, be treated under the law as if they were objects') means that declaring the one unconstitutional also provides a huge legal roadblock vs. the other whether it intends to or not.
      • To clarify: the original Constitutional justification for slavery, as explicitly laid out in the Dred Scott decision, was that slaves were not legally people; they were property. The Dred Scott decision required the Supreme Court to either rule slavery unconstitutional or find a constitutional justification for it, which they did re: property. Slavery is also addressed in Article V of the original Constitution as regards the constitutionality of laws regulating the importation of slaves, which again treats them as chattel rather than as persons as they are being controlled under import laws, not immigration laws. The abolishment of slavery establishes a very strong legal precedent that it is no longer constitutional to pass laws that regulate free persons in the same manner that they would regulate owned property, so using gun control laws as a template for supers control laws would be a very potentially problematic legal construct.
      • In addition, the argument that 'conscription is slavery, therefore some forms of slavery are legal becuase conscription is still legal!' is not applicable. The Supreme Court decision upholding the Selective Draft Law states that the constitutional basis for conscription is rooted in Congress' power to raise armies and declare war; the only reason its still legal to draft people, despite the 13th Amendment, is because the draft is sometimes necessary to staff the army. Ergo, conscription is constitutional only if used for military purposes... and the SHRA does not qualify. In fact, there is a law specifically forbidding the US government to use the military inside the US for law enforcement purposes except under very limited and specific circumstances, most of them requiring a full-on declaration of martial law; Posse Commitatus. Or to sum up; the existing draft law cannot be used to justify the SHRA without itself going mega unconstitutional. In addition, the US hasn't even had a draft since 1972.
      • It is true that the Marvel Universe in canon has several laws that differ from our own, and that SHIELD is clearly able to operate on US soil. Also, US military troops have in canon been deployed within the continental US in peacetime to deal with various supers-related situations, such as the Hulk. However, MU law differs only from real-world law where it is specifically said to be different. So in the absence of binding canon to the contrary, a specific point of MU law is presumed to be in accord with real-world law, and there is no canon stating that the Thirteenth Amendment does not apply in Earth-616. Also, the draft allows for conscientious objectors and can only be applied to people who are otherwise eligible for military service; the SHRA allowed for no form of objecting and applied to everyone, on down to including mothers with infant children. As far as SHIELD's ability to operate on US soil in contradiction to Posse Commitatus — SHIELD can do that since SHIELD is nominally a law enforcement agency of some kind (however vaguely). But since SHIELD is not the US military it doesn't get to recruit by drafting people at all, as the power to enact draft laws is rooted in Congress' power to raise a standing army as outlined above. Also, prior to Civil War SHIELD has never been shown to recruit agents by drafting people. And the Army vs. the Hulk could potentially be covered by existing real-world law, specifically the Posse Commitatus exemption specified in the Insurrection Act that allows the federal government to send military aid when "as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order", which is an entirely fair description of any local or state police force (or pretty much anything else) confronted by a rampaging Hulk. However, normal law enforcement activity, which was a goodly large chunk of what the SHRA supers were ostensibly going to be used for, does not qualify as this.
    • One of the common arguments advanced in support of the SHRA is that being a vigilante is illegal, and therefore anti-vigilante statutes are justified. Both of these statements are true — nobody can deny either of them. The problem is, while both statements are true in principle, the SHRA as specifically shown in practice was either not actually relevant to these principles or else clearly ignoring other points of law:
      • Anti-vigilante statutes are a matter for state law, not federal law, as different states sets the exact dividing line between 'self-defense', 'good samaritan', 'neighborhood watch', and 'vigilante' in different places. For example, it is entirely legal in Texas to walk over with a shotgun and stop the burglar if you see someone breaking into your neighbor's garage, while in Hawaii you would legally be a vigilante just for doing the exact same thing, as Hawaii is a "duty-to-retreat"note  state if you're outside of your own home. And there is no grounds for federal pre-emption of state laws in this regard, like there would be for something involving interstate commerce or civil rights or foreign trade or something else that even halfway falls under an enumerated power of the federal government.
      • The SHRA in the comics was being applied even to supers who did not fall even remotely within the legal definition of "vigilante" in any state, such as members of the Avengers and Fantastic Four (both teams were legally deputized and sanctioned by the government), Captain America (who in addition to his Avengers membership is a government employee), and Luke Cage (who had been an Avenger for some time prior to the SHRA, and prior to that worked for a licensed private investigation firm — Heroes For Hire — thus making him a legitimate private security contractor, like someone from Pinkerton's.). Luke Cage is a particularly noteworthy example in that he was arrested for violating the SHRA literally less than one minute after it went into effect, when the only thing he'd done in the interim was sit in his living room and watch television. Since ex post facto means that anything Luke Cage did prior to the law's actually existing could not be prosecuted as a violation of that law note , the only conclusion we can draw is that it is a violation of the SHRA to simply exist as an unregistered superhuman, without actually requiring you to do any 'vigilante' activities.
    • Also, see above re: bills of attainder and Jim Crow laws. For that matter, the mind boggles at how you would formulate any law aimed only at 'super-people' without somehow violating the Equal Protection Clause and the 14th Amendment. 'Separate but equal' is a legal concept that US constitutional law has specifically rejected.
      • Might not work for Mutants (I'm unaware of what the current official inverse medicine says about the X-Gene) but outside of them most special powers are gained by accident and could legally probably be legally defined as diseases. Quarantine is quite legal and in the case of some, Hulk and Rogue both come to mind, desirable for obvious reason. Separate but equal for starters isn't remotely on topic but is again not something that the Constutition has rejected. Federal Law (Supreme Court decisions more accurately) are not the same as specifically rejected. In fact the logic the Supreme Court used in Brown vs Topeka wasn't that Separate but Equal was wrong or Unconstiutional but rather that Separate was inherently unequal.
      • Very unlikely to work. All laws that potentially infringe on Equal Protection have to be subjected to high levels of scrutiny and infringe only to the minimum extent possible to still serve the public interest. Since the necessary level of quarantine for non-contagious diseases is zero, assuming a Supreme Court anywhere near sanity trying to float this rationale should result in a 9-0 shutdown faster than you could say "whiskey tango foxtrot". It would be legal to force AIDS victims to live in isolated concentration camps before it would be legal to treat supers that way. Now, you could confine the Hulk under existing law (he is not fully able to control or appreciate the nature and consequences of his actions and is a danger to himself and those around him, ergo, existing law re: psychiatric cases allows for his involuntary commitment), but that's an entirely different legal issue from 'super law' in general — and more to the point, would also apply equally to a non-superpowered person afflicted with psychotic rage attacks in public, which means the Equal Protection Clause isn't affected. As far as Rogue, she shouldn't be affected by the law anymore than anybody else who zaps people with a touch weapon; if circumstances justify the zapping its self-defense, if they don't then its assault, and if she zaps you accidentally then its negligence.

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